Bye-Bye West Coast

        Our last day in California, and I'm hurting. Riding a century while out of shape is doable but painful, particularly in the aftermath. Even more unfortunate is the loss of beer and explosives. I'm not sure what we ended up doing with the unopened 12-pack of Miller Light, but I entrusted the fireworks to Brian: due to a ticketing mishaps that makes me feel less stupid for my screw-up, Liz and Brian are staying a day longer than us. Brian gets sketched by the fact that he's carrying 2.5 sticks of dynamite on the subway, so he gives them to a Rent-A-Cop: "I found these." "I'll dispose of them properly," which hopefully means he'll take them home to let his kids shoot off.
        Exploring the Exploratorium, a hands-on science museum that gets rave reviews, is a blast. I feel like a smart little kit as I turn knobs, read explanations, ooh, and aah at more science toys / demos than we could possibly see in a day. Considering I'm so sore that I'm hurting to stand for more than a few minutes at a time, I'm entirely OK when everybody decides they want to go on a driving tour after we've been exploring just a few hours.
        Erik's buddy he worked with on the Kerry campaign is such a good guide that I wish I wasn't falling asleep half the drive. Random sights were cool, but the highlight was definitely when the dude gets a ticket for running a red. It was a 5-minute light for a one-way tunnel in the Marin Headlands, and he literally was honking to get the guy in front of him to go. John, Erik's friend, informs us that his registration is a few months expired and recounts the time he had a warrant out for his arrest in Utah. Fortunately, the cop just gives him a ticket for running the light and lets him go on the registration. I try to find the bright side: the officer was pretty quick with the ticket, so we probably saved a minute over waiting for the light.
        Ridiculously good Chinatown dinner and transit bullshit later, I'm at the airport and on flight number who-knows-what of the summer. It's next a day in NYC before a dangerous trip to visit my buddy Bret in New Orleans, aka "No-Lans," followed by some weeks at home before hitting Brazil hard for a good chunk of August.

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